News / Asia

US Satisfied With UN Statement on S. Korea Ship Sinking

In this April 24, 2010 file photo, a giant offshore crane salvages the bow section of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan
In this April 24, 2010 file photo, a giant offshore crane salvages the bow section of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan

The State Department Friday expressed satisfaction with a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, though it stops short of directly blaming North Korea for the attack. A spokesman called North Korean claims of victory on the issue overblown rhetoric.

Officials here say the statement achieved the aims of the United States and its ally South Korea, and they are dismissing a claim by North Korea's U.N. ambassador that the outcome was a diplomatic victory for Pyongyang.

The product of weeks of diplomatic negotiations, the statement was approved unanimously by the Security Council Friday.

It condemned the March 26 sinking of the South Korean navy ship the Cheonan, while expressing deep concern over the findings of a South Korean-led inquiry that the ship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo.

The careful wording of the statement is seen as a concession to China, North Korea's neighbor and main benefactor.

But in a talk with reporters, State Department Acting Spokesman Mark Toner declined to criticize the Chinese role in the U.N. diplomacy, saying the  United States is happy the Security Council spoke with one voice.

Toner called it a strong statement and that the message to North Korea is clear.

"It accomplishes our goals along with the Republic of Korea and our partners in the council," he said. "It provides a unanimous condemnation of the attack. It legitimizes the findings of the joint civilian-military investigation group, and their finding of North Korean responsibility. It also praises the Republic of Korea for their restraint in handling the incident."

Asked about the North Korean assertion of a diplomatic victory in the U.N. deliberations, Toner said he would not react to what he termed overblown rhetoric.

He declined to discuss any possible follow-on action on the Cheonan incident, saying it is time for North Korea to, in his words, absorb the magnitude of its actions.

The White House said the U.N. statement constitutes an endorsement of the findings of the South Korean-led investigation, and warns Pyongyang that the world community will not tolerate such aggressive behavior against South Korea.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a written statement she will visit Seoul later this month for futher consultation.

On another issue, the State Department said a diplomat from Sweden, which represents U.S. interests in North Korea, was allowed on Friday to visit a U.S. citizen jailed in North Korea who reportedly tried to commit suicide.

Spokesman Toner said the consular visit to the American, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, came at the request of North Korea, but citing privacy considerations he gave no details of Gomes' condition or where the visit took place.

Gomes was sentenced to eight years hard labor in April after being found guilty of illegally entering the country last January.

The official North Korean news agency said he tried to kill himself over feelings of guilt, and despair that the United States has not tried to gain his freedom.

Spokesman Toner said the United States is concerned about Gomes' welfare and reiterated a call for his immediate release on humanitarian grounds.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid